Title

EFFECT OF SEASONALITY ON ACTIVITY IN THE MEXICAN BEADED LIZARD IN A TROPICAL DRY FOREST IN JALISCO, MEXICO

Presenter Information

Taggert Butterfield

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom C/D

Start Date

16-5-2013

End Date

16-5-2013

Abstract

Tropical deciduous forests are characterized by drastic seasonal changes in precipitation. At our study site in Jalisco, Mexico, 80 percent of annual precipitation of 748 millimeters falls within a 4-month wet season from July through October. We investigated the effect of this extreme seasonality on activity patterns in the Mexican Beaded Lizard (Heloderma horridum) within its tropical deciduous forest habitat. Seven H. horridum equipped with radiotransmitters and ibutton dataloggers were monitored periodically from May 2011 to July 2012 using radiotelemetry. Location of lizards were recorded using a GPS, coordinates were put into ArcGIS, which was used to calculate minimum distance traveled between relocations and minimum home range sizes of beaded lizards. Greater time spent on the surface during the wet season corresponded to higher average distance between re-locations. For example, one individual traveled a total distance of 263.8 meters (home range: 1.4 hectares; 4 relocations) in a one-month period during the dry season compared to 2,442.6 meters (home range: 21.4 hectares; 10 relocations) traveled during the wet season. These results underscore the significance of seasonal effects on activity of the Mexican Beaded Lizard, and, potentially, for many other species that inhabit tropical dry forests.

Poster Number

16

Faculty Mentor(s)

Daniel Beck

Additional Mentoring Department

Biological Sciences

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May 16th, 8:20 AM May 16th, 10:50 AM

EFFECT OF SEASONALITY ON ACTIVITY IN THE MEXICAN BEADED LIZARD IN A TROPICAL DRY FOREST IN JALISCO, MEXICO

SURC Ballroom C/D

Tropical deciduous forests are characterized by drastic seasonal changes in precipitation. At our study site in Jalisco, Mexico, 80 percent of annual precipitation of 748 millimeters falls within a 4-month wet season from July through October. We investigated the effect of this extreme seasonality on activity patterns in the Mexican Beaded Lizard (Heloderma horridum) within its tropical deciduous forest habitat. Seven H. horridum equipped with radiotransmitters and ibutton dataloggers were monitored periodically from May 2011 to July 2012 using radiotelemetry. Location of lizards were recorded using a GPS, coordinates were put into ArcGIS, which was used to calculate minimum distance traveled between relocations and minimum home range sizes of beaded lizards. Greater time spent on the surface during the wet season corresponded to higher average distance between re-locations. For example, one individual traveled a total distance of 263.8 meters (home range: 1.4 hectares; 4 relocations) in a one-month period during the dry season compared to 2,442.6 meters (home range: 21.4 hectares; 10 relocations) traveled during the wet season. These results underscore the significance of seasonal effects on activity of the Mexican Beaded Lizard, and, potentially, for many other species that inhabit tropical dry forests.